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Feb 01, 2023

Written by Valynne Underwood 

Do you ever sit back and wonder…Is there a way to feel good about yourself? Or how about, “I wish there was a magic pill I could take that, when taken, would magically change my life for the better, and I would experience undying happiness for the rest of my life.  Consider this…have you ever picked up an interesting book, read the synopsis, then hurriedly run to the cash register completing the necessary steps in order to make this potential life altering read yours. By the time you arrive at your favorite reading spot and crack that book open, you have convinced yourself that this is the one piece of literature that will most definitely improve your life. However, after reading this intellectual piece of prose, you are disappointed to come to the end of page after page of psychological doctrine, lecturing how the mind works, but still have no idea how to incorporate all this new knowledge!  You need examples, scenarios! Today’s blog will begin to easily explain how to feel better about yourself and send you on a path towards growth and happiness.  Take caution though because something that is easy to explain does not mean that the implementation of today’s written thoughts and ideas will be easy to accomplish.  The reason being is clearly stated in the title. The Work. 

In Heather’s book, Becoming Whole, she states, “True happiness and a lot of fun are to be had only AFTER doing your work.  If this part is skipped, your ‘fun’ will be external, short-lived, and empty.  You will come back to the same life lessons again and again until you pass gracefully through these 3 stages…one, the truth, two, grief, and three, acceptance and forgiveness.  Without these 3 things, there is no real moving on.”  In order for this to have some personal meaning, start by reflecting on something you’ve accomplished in which you are very proud of.  What was the process you went through which led you to that feeling of pride?  My guess is that whatever the process, the steps you took were not easy, maybe lengthy, and at times possibly made you feel discouraged. No matter the level of difficulty in the steps, you should be able to recognize a pattern of work that takes place.  Very rarely does an accomplishment come to fruition without some measure of work be it easy or hard.

Alright, we’ve come to the understanding that everything takes on some form of work whether it is going to the grocery store or earning a college degree.  Steps must be taken in order to advance towards a desire or need. I’ve started the blog today with a visual at the top.  This graphic lays out the steps involved in ‘the work’ that when practiced mindfully, will lead towards a fulfilling and happy life.  You cannot skip a step, and you cannot quickly gloss over a step.  Every step needs to have time invested with devoted mindfulness and soul-searching.  I’m going to get technical here for a minute with a concept learned in my college studies.  Jean Piaget developed the theory of cognitive development, or simply stated, how the brain develops and learns.  The first step is that of assimilation.  The brain is bringing in something new.  This act of assimilation weaves throughout the brain in disarray and is searching for meaning.  It is looking for accommodation, things it can attach itself to in order to build upon what is known to further enhanced understanding. Once accommodationhappens, the mind is put back into balance or what is known as equilibrium. When equilibrium is achieved, the mind is ready to move on assimilating more information. Assimilating, Accommodating and Equilibrium will be what you need to allow to happen throughout all three stages of ‘the work.’  If your brain does not achieve equilibrium, then you cannot move on to the next step and be successful.

I like making things simple, meaningful, and going back to basics.  One way Heather taught me to understand the three steps of ‘the work’ is: Find it – Feel it – Free it.  My husband, who is a self-proclaimed hippie, understands the steps as: Let it in – Let it be – Let it go.  My practice is: Welcome it – Embrace it – Bless and release it.  Things happen, don’t avoid them but welcome them – be mindful and embrace what you’ve brought in to find meaning and understanding – then finally, bless the experience and release it in order to move on in peace.

Look for the next blog where we will talk about Step One – The Truth and in the meantime,

Carry on with Love - Valynne


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